Gym 01 coach relishing Shock N Awe’s maiden Portsmouth Guildhall appearance 

Gwyn Barry defeated Gareth Hales at Shock N Awe 27 at the Mountbatten Centre'Picture: Neil Marshall (180423-214)
Gwyn Barry defeated Gareth Hales at Shock N Awe 27 at the Mountbatten Centre'Picture: Neil Marshall (180423-214)
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Gareth Johnson told of his excitement ahead of Shock N Awe's maiden appearance at Portsmouth Guildhall.

The south coast's premier mixed martial arts (MMA) and Thai boxing event moves to the historic venue from the Mountbatten Centre for its 28th edition on Saturday, November 17.

Action from the fight between Daniel Hayles and Fudhal Kelali at Shock N Awe 27 in April. 'Picture: Neil Marshall (180425-008)

Action from the fight between Daniel Hayles and Fudhal Kelali at Shock N Awe 27 in April. 'Picture: Neil Marshall (180425-008)

The best upcoming talent from across the area will be on the card – including a bevy of fighters from Fratton's Gym 01.

And Johnson is relishing hosting the Shock N Awe card at Portsmouth Guildhall for the first time.

Gym 01’s head coach and promoter said: ‘It's unusual for me at this stage but I can't help but be excited.

‘My mum has never been to an event I've put on – she doesn't like fighting and when I competed she only came to one of my 20 fights. 

‘But she is coming to this event because it is at the Guildhall.

‘It's going to be such a prestigious event. I really think outside the London shows this is going to be one of the biggest events in the UK.

‘It is a 2,000 capacity arena. I went to a gig there a few weeks ago and thought "I'm putting an event on in here, this is a bit scary!"

‘I am getting a bit excited about it now.’

A number of highly-regarded charges from Gym 01 will compete on the bumper card.

Royal Navy ace Cameron Hardy meets Frenchman Jean Do Duc in the main event, while Elliot Hoye faces Abdel Lif in the co-main event.

Johnson believes several talents on the Shock N Awe bill will move on to bigger and better things in the future.

And the promoter insists anyone attending will get superb value for money.

Johnson added: ‘On our Facebook page, someone commented saying to his mate “Shall we go to this or wait until Bellator comes back over from America”.

‘If someone wants to go to Bellator and spend £100 on a ticket, £100 on a hotel and £50 travel to London to sit in the rafters then so be it, you get to see some big names.

‘But if they want to see some really good, local MMA that they probably don't know exists on their doorstep for £30 – which is one of the best-run shows in the UK – then we're doing ourselves injustice for the ticket price.

‘We really do pack the show out.

‘You're not talking journeyman fighters, you're talking legitimate athletes.

'You look at where some of our past fighters have gone. Molly McCann is in the UFC, Jack Marshman is our former middleweight champion and recently fought in the UFC.

‘You've got a chance to see these big names of tomorrow on your doorstep for £30.’